Part 6: How online sales can boost your business
Read time 6 minutes
In the previous updates we already mentioned how the internet is changing the business landscape. In this update we shine a light on the possibilities of earning a buck or two through online presence and activities. And some of the all-important success factors.
To be able to support our partners better we organised The 2017 Kite school Benchmark Survey among kite schools all over the world. Over 300 schools participated and provided interesting insights in how they see the scene developing, how they organise their school and how they run their business. In the next months we would like to share this interesting information with you and hopefully it provides you with ideas and insights to expand your business!
From our survey we’ve learned that 72% of the participating schools expect an increase of online generated income (41% Growth + 31% Strong Growth Figure 1). 64% of the schools which sell kit online expect substantial growth in 2018 through their online activities. A staggering number that indicates a lot of maintenance can be expected on the ever evolving websites and web shops.
Selling used (35%) and new (56%) kites online is an important way to earn money for schools. But is your online presence fit to drive sales in 2018? Only 26% of the respondents do have a web shop. Kite shops are more on their way as 74% of the kite shops has a web shop Figure 2.
Are you ready? The next question we asked is whether the website or shop is responsive or not:
A responsive web design is an approach to web design where the web developer strives for an optimal web experience for a wide range of devices. In other words: Is your website easily readable on a smartphone? A whopping 50 to 60% of searches and web traffic comes from mobile devices!
Besides the fact that a mobile friendly website is providing a better experience for the website user, search engines such as Google also favour mobile friendly websites for the search results. With updates on search engine algorithms that are more frequent than we celebrate Christmas it is wise to stay up to date to keep showing up in the search results.
Results of our survey show that: 70% of the schools will improve their SEO* and will optimize their website in the upcoming period and 26% of the school don’t have a responsive website yet. (* Search Engine Optimization)
Bartering your way to a Google friendly website
Building and maintaining a web shop can be an heavy investment in both time and money and requires a certain skill set. That skill set may not always be present in the school but putting your network to work and offering an interesting barter deal might make it happen.
With incredibly user-friendly and fairly easy to understand website builders, it is not so hard to build a website any more. Especially if you can incorporate promotional photo and video material from the brands you work with.
Some promotion on the website and web shop is needed once it is all there in order to drive traffic and to be sure that the items in the shop can be found. Some of the schools have some catching up to do in terms of improving their online appearance. It is wise to do so as the expectations of web visitors are getting higher.
Selling used and new kites is an accessible way to scale up, especially if you have a whiz-kid at your disposal. But maintaining a proper online presence does need some love, hard work and investment to stay relevant, and money makin’.
Our tip: Start small with (often free) simple and off-the-rack web shop templates and systems. Once the sales are there and you are able to maintain the web shop it is time to scale up to a heavier and more professional web shop with loads of options for customization.